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Fire put out at Holland Energy Park construction site


HOLLAND, Mich. (WZZM) -- Firefighters responded to flames at the Holland Energy Park construction site Monday afternoon.

Crews were dispatched to that site in the 300 block of E 6th Street around 4 p.m., on a report of construction materials burning on the roof a structure there. Those materials were insulation readied for installation as part of the roof assembly.

Firefighters said they put out the flames quickly, within half an hour, in part with help from construction workers who tried putting out the fire before the fire department arrived.

The fire department said the fire appears to have been started accidentally by sparks from nearby welding. No one was hurt, and there was little or not damage to the building under construction.


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Holland shelter to feed 1,500 people on Thanksgiving


HOLLAND, Mich. (WZZM) -- With 500 turkeys and nearly as many volunteers, the Holland Rescue Mission is preparing for the Great Thanksgiving Banquet.

On Wednesday, the mission will feed 1,500 people, who despite the strong economy and low unemployment, continue to struggle to make ends meet.

Just about any meal can fill someone's stomach, but it takes more to do the same for a person's heart.

"You see smiles on people's faces, that they forget the bad things, they laugh," says James Edstrom, who is staying at the Holland Rescue Mission.

Edstrom is volunteering in the kitchen to make a meal and to be part of a family.

"I have no family anywhere right now, this is my family," Edstrom said.

Even the head chef says the Great Thanksgiving Banquet is much more than food. Many years ago, he was one of those in need at the shelter.

Bicycling bandit charged in two Holland heists


HOLLAND, Mich. (WZZM) -- An Ottawa County man police say robbed a Macatawa Bank branch and a Meijer store in Holland, making his escape on a bicycle, has been indicted for the mid-September robberies.

Cornelius Cook-Bey is charged with armed bank robbery for the heist at 699 E. 16th Street which netted $1,295.

He is also charged with interference with commerce for a Sept. 18 robbery at the Meijer store, 746 East 16th Street in which $2,434 was taken.

The suspect was wearing a dark gray hooded sweatshirt, blue jeans with a design on the pocket and sunglasses. He fled north on a bicycle on Waverly Road.

In the Meijer robbery, police say Cook-Bey walked up to the customer service desk, implied he had a weapon and presented a note demanding money.

As was the case in the bank robbery, he fled north on a bicycle on Waverly Road, witnesses told police.

Stores do brisk business in winter gear as snow approaches


ZEELAND, Mich. (WZZM) -- From salt and shovels to warm clothing and new tires, the shopping rush is on to get ahead of the snow storm expected in West Michigan Saturday.

Shoppers need winter items, and stores need the business after slower sales so far this month.

The Zeeland Ace Hardware was among stores seeing last-minute shopping.

"It's going to snow tomorrow, so that's why I'm here," said customer Merrick Bacon.

"We've sold quite a bit of salt so far," said assistant manager Nathan Visser.

The hardware store sells 10- and 50-pound bags of salt.

"I bet in the last week, we've sold 20 or 30 of each," said Visser, adding that shoppers have been rushing to buy other items, like shovels and roof rakes, too. "Our first snow storm will be really good for business."

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Holland businesses vandalized with "ISIS K" graffiti


HOLLAND, Mich. (WZZM) - Several businesses in Holland got a scare Thursday morning when graffiti apparently referring to ISIS showed up on their buildings.

"For about 10 to 15 minutes, we didn't know if we should go outside," said Dan Spadafora, the host of WHTC AM's morning news in Holland. He was on the air early in the morning, when a neighboring business called to say the radio station's news truck had been vandalized. "We went out there, and it looked like the word ISIS. We called police."

Spadafora soon learned WHTC wasn't the only business hit. Several other businesses in Holland were tagged with similar graffiti. At each location, the phrase "ISIS K" had been written in spraypaint.

Holland Rescue Mission asks for Thanksgiving supplies


HOLLAND, Mich. (WZZM) -- Organizers of the Holland Rescue Mission's annual Thanksgiving dinner are asking for your help this year.

The mission needs 98 more turkeys to prepare the meal. Anyone who'd like to donate can drop off a turkey at the men's ministry center on River Avenue in downtown Holland.

The mission also needs help filling more than 300 care boxes with items like toilet paper, laundry soap, and toothpaste. The boxes can be picked up at the Gateway Center on 24th street in Holland.

The deadline to donate these items is Saturday.


Thieves target ATM customers twice in 2 days


HOLLAND, Mich. (WZZM) -- Twice in two days, thieves have targeted ATM customers at the same bank chain in the Holland area.

On Monday night, suspects stole money from a woman at the Macatawa Bank branch on Riley Street in Holland Township. The night before, an 80-year-old man was the victim of a strong-arm robbery at the bank branch on Maple in Holland.

Investigators suspect the cases are connected.

"If you can't feel safe after work when you're needing to go get money, I mean, that's scary," said Kelsey Sivertson, a Macatawa Bank customer.

"I'm probably not going to go to the ATM; I'll probably go inside," said another bank customer.